According to the investor materials issued by Theranos Inc., the blood-testing startup had predicted revenue as high as $2 billion this year and a net income of about $505 million while it had been soliciting investors in 2014 and 2015. The projections help in knowing how founder Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos were able to attract around $632 million in their latest funding round, which included the time when the investor materials had been given out. The documents show that the company had expected revenue of about $1 billion in 2015 and net income of $330 million, which means that it was expecting to double in size by 2016.
The blood-testing company had envisioned partnerships with drug makers, doctors, hospitals and drug stores for achieving this goal. The US attorney’s office in San Francisco as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission have launched civil and criminal investigations for determining if regulators and investors were misled by Theranos about its operations and technology. The company said that they are cooperating fully with the investigation. The actual financial results have been closely guarded by Theranos, even from its investors. In October, it had shut-down all its blood-testing facilities. It had said that its focus would now be on making products that can be sold to outside hospitals, labs and doctors’ offices.
Due to the technology and regulatory troubles of the company, some investors are expecting to see their stake wiped out. When purchasing a stake in the firm, they had been made to sign an agreement, which stated that substantial risks were involved and they could end up losing their entire investment in the case of a complete loss. People with knowledge of the matter said that the financial projections made to outside investors and the board had been re-examined recently by Theranos directors, but they were unable to find any basis for the said projections.
It remains unclear as to how many investors actually saw the financial projections. Theranos’s stock-purchase agreements don’t disclose the name of investors due to confidentiality agreements. However, last Thursday, in an update addressed to ‘Theranos investors’ about 132 email addresses had been disclosed. The recipients include members of Sam Walton’s family, who is the founder of Wal-Mart Stores and died in 1992. There were some other prominent names included in the list of email recipients, but no comments were made by anyone regarding the matter.
It had been reported last week that most of the funding gathered by Theranos was from private investors who are not usually the ones backing startups. Thursday’s email had been sent out by the company to announce the departure of Riley Bechtel, who is chairman of Bechtel Group, from the company’s board. He was also an investor in the company as his email address was included in the list. The ‘blind-copy’ field had been used in previous emails of the company, which hid the names of the recipients of the email. The latest email didn’t disclose the amount invested by each person and when.